Ekiti State Government on Tuesday announced that henceforth, houses and hotels where rapes take place are to be confiscated.
This was contained in the list of fresh measures released to curb the growing cases of sexual crimes in the state.
Olawale Fapounda, the state’s Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, in a release made available to the NPO Reports, said “The Ministry of Justice is presently prosecuting 121 cases of Rape in various courts across Ekiti State. This number is particularly disturbing considering this statistic only relates to victims or their relatives who are willing to support the Ministry in the prosecution of these cases. Adding unwilling victims to this number, is even more alarming.”
According to Fapounda, additional measures to curb sexual violence in the state, as follows:
1. ‘Hindering Prosecution’ has now been proposed to be an offence in the Ekiti State Criminal Law Bill, 2021, that is now before the Ekiti State House of Assembly. Under this heading, it will be a criminal offence for any person to seek to hinder or unlawfully influence the office of the Attorney-General to discontinue certain criminal matters including Rape, Sexual Assault and Child Defilement. The punishment prescribed is 5 years imprisonment on conviction. Persons in the habit of writing letters of discontinuance in rape matters are specifically invited to take note.
2. Legal Protection of Gender Based Violence Whistleblowers. The Ministry of Justice has proposed an amendment to Gender Based Violence Prohibition Law 2020 (as amended). The amendment seeks to protect persons who report cases of Rape, Sexual Assault, and Child Defilement. By the provisions of the proposed amendment such persons will be included in the Whistleblowers’ Protection Programme of the Ekiti State Ministry of Justice.
3. Confiscation of private accommodation, hotel accommodation, and related places used for the rape of a minor. The Ministry of Justice has previously issued several warnings to hotel owners and other places of leisure that they risk confiscation of their facilities if such places are used for the rape of minors. Similarly private residences that are found to have been used for the rape of minors will also be subject to possible confiscation by the Government of Ekiti State. The Ministry of Justice is currently working on a legislative proposal that will allow Government to revoke the Certificate of Occupancy of such properties with a view to converting them to rehabilitation centers for ex-convicts.
He said when implemented, it is hoped that the additional measures would reverse the trend of sexual violence in the state.